It takes a community to create a legacy… one metre at a time.
Fundraising for the construction of the Okanagan Rail Trail begins today with the launch of the web site www.okanaganrailtrail.ca. With the first planning phase completed, Okanagan Rail Trail Ambassador Brad Clements is excited to see this day come.
“The local municipalities and OKIB, with support from the Government of BC, have done their work to secure this property for public use. It is now our turn to step up and make this trail happen,” said Clements.
The Inter-jurisdictional Development team (IDT) made up of the City of Kelowna, Okanagan Indian Band, District of Lake Country and the North Okanagan Regional District have developed the first phase of the development of the trail. This phase of the project will include the construction of a 4.6 metre-wide compacted, crushed aggregate, continuous trail from Coldstream to Kelowna and will cost $7.86 million. Future phases will include the construction of parking areas, user facilities such as washrooms and picnic areas and possibly an asphalt surface on the trail.
Trail Ambassador Duane Thomson says it’s going to take a lot of teamwork to raise the money.
“$ 7.86 million is a lot of money. However, if we each give what we can and encourage our friends, family and neighbours to give as well, we can build this trail quickly so that our communities start receiving the benefits. What a legacy we are creating,” said Thomson. “This amazing and scenic 48.5 km trail has the potential to become a world-class recreation corridor appealing to residents and their guests as well as international tourists.”
The trail passes by lakeshore, creeks and other unique natural areas connecting communities, places of work, the YLW airport, UBCO, the Kalamalka Campus of Okanagan College and over 40 recreational and cultural points of interest.
All donations are received by the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan and the Central Okanagan Foundation and will go towards the development of the trail in its entirety. Donations can be made online at www.okanaganrailtrail.ca or by contacting one of the Foundations.
More than donations are required to make this trail happen. Individuals, businesses, clubs, and service groups are encouraged to the visit the web site and hit the Get Involved Button.
“Getting to this target will require a myriad of trail ambassadors, campaign partners and business partners” explained Clements. “It will take a community to build this legacy.”